Designing better mental healthcare facilities

Autumn 2022 study tour in Texas and California

As part of its International Workstream programme, the Design in Mental Health Network is organising a delegation of professionals specialising in mental health and dementia care design to travel to California and Texas on a study tour in late 2022.

The visit will take place from 23 September-2 October next year. Delegates will visit facilities such as residential units, including those for adolescent care, low / high secure units, and dementia care facilities, as well as meeting leaders in healthcare and design at the Healthcare Facilities Symposium 2022 – being held at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California, from September 27-29 next year – and staff at academic institutions. The exchange will include extensive discussions on topics such as design as vital factor for the wellbeing of everyone who works in, or uses, the services of the mental health sector, the role of healthcare design teams in both Europe and the US, and a comparison of design leadership in Europe and the United States.

The DIMHN delegation will be led by Alex Caruso Dott Arch, RIBA, MAPM, MaPS (pictured). Co-founder of ACA, an architectural and interior design practice specialising in health and social care, he is also a director of the Network and the lead for its the International Workstream. Looking forward to sharing this opportunity for professional and personal growth with colleagues from Europe and the US, he said: “I highly recommend DiMHN colleagues, as well as other healthcare and design professionals, to join us for this exciting opportunity to learn about health and cultural influences and styles in architecture from this region of the US. Delegates can play a role in defining the themes for discussion, and will be able to both share and gain insights through the exchange.”

He added: “Delegates will make visits in the Los Angeles area of California and in the Austin, Texas, area. The study tour will provide opportunities for delegates to exchange information with their overseas counterparts, while forging the bonds of international friendship. The trip will provide opportunities for cultural visits, as well as free time for leisure adventures. Delegates are welcome to bring their spouses / partners.” 

Programme details and a registration form are available by calling 07769 256396, or e-mailing [email protected] More information on Design in Mental Health Network events and resources can be found online at

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